Health

What To Do If You Chip or Bust a Tooth

, Gawker Media

What To Do If You Chip or Bust a Tooth

Hopefully you'll never experience the pain of getting a tooth knocked out, but if you do, The Wall Street Journal has a few suggestions for keeping that tooth safe while you wait to get the dentist's office.

If you've just chipped or cracked a tooth, The Wall Street Journal says to cover the tooth with sugar-free gum and wait until your dentist has an open appointment. If you're in a little pain, a tiny bit of clove oil can help numb the area. But if you've actually busted that tooth out completely, you'll need more immediate attention. Thankfully, you don't always have to lose the tooth:

When a whole tooth has been knocked out, or a big piece broken off, the best practice, if possible, is to place it under the tongue and keep it there until you can get to a dentist, Dr. Hewlett says. (The old advice-putting the broken parts into a glass of milk-is no longer recommended by most dentists, he says.) Chances are good the dentist will be able to bond the tooth back on and make it look natural again. Even if you don't have the broken parts, you have "excellent chances of getting your old smile back" with high-quality tooth-colored materials, he says.

That's assuming you can actually find your teeth after they've been knocked out, but even still, it's good to know what to do if you find yourself with a few teeth in your hand.

Chipped a Tooth? Here's What to Next | The Wall Street Journal

Photo by Davide Taviani.

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